Podcast Episode 190: Guns and Your Young Child

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

Given their small stature and relative powerlessness, the idea of something as powerFUL as a gun captivates young children. But in the violent world we live in, their fascination can seem to us morbid and frightening…
All the more so in the wake of mass shootings like the one just a few weeks ago in Las Vegas.
Today’s show gives you concrete ideas about how to raise a nonviolent child in our violent world, and how to feel better if you, like me, share your home with a pint-sized gun enthusiast.

Key links at weturnedoutokay.com/190;
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047: Stop the Holiday Insanity, Part 3 – The 3 Best Gifts You Can Give Your Kids

Today, we finish up our three-part series about the three best gifts you can give your children; we also finish out the year, so best wishes for 2016 to you and your family!

In December’s Just You and Me episodes, we’ve been Stopping the Holiday Insanity by focusing on gifts we can give our children, one episode per gift.

The first two, Your Time and Ritual/Routine, help make family life run more smoothly and also bring lots of enjoyment – to both you and your kids.

Today’s gift, though, does more than bring enjoyment and a smooth schedule.

Today’s gift, Gratitude, could be the most elusive – but it could also be the most important one.

Starting in early January 2015, I write down (if I can’t write that day because of tendon issues, I say out loud) five things I’m grateful for each night before I go to bed. It doesn’t seem like much, I know, but it’s one of the most important micro-changes I made this year; these tiny changes have made a huge positive impact on my health. It’s as if focusing on what I’m grateful for shows me all the good things in my life! In fact in today’s episode I read from a favorite book of mine, The Slight Edge, about a happiness researcher named Sean Achor and the impact of gratitude that Sean has found in his research (if you want to see a great Ted talk, here is Sean’s… you’ll laugh and learn all the same time.)

I want to share something I’m so grateful for, which is… You.

The joy of connecting with you, helping you worry less and enjoy more in your parenting, well, all that’s helping me! 2015 has been a tumultuous year – the year in which I got to ski in Colorado, for the first time since spending the winter of 2011 unable to walk more than a few steps, and not only did I ski but I skied with my parents and my children. It was the year in which we adopted dogs, and five weeks later needed to give them up because I had a relapse in my tendon condition; the year in which I won the first story slam I ever entered; the year in which Ben helped me get this podcast off the ground (and the year in which I conceived of it in the first place.)

A year full of ups and downs. But one of the biggest ups is the way that this podcast was received; when you contact me by email, or instagram, or Facebook or twitter to ask a question or say thanks, that’s when I feel the most gratitude.

Thank you SO much for listening, commenting, questioning – I look forward to lots more of all the above in the new year.

Here’s to a great 2016!

Podcast Episode 026: 3 Ways to Make No Sound Like Yes

Did you know that, by the time we are five years old, we’ve heard “no” 40,000 times? And that in that same span of time, we’ve only heard “yes” 5000 times? (I learned that reading The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, a great book by the way.)

While it’s true that “no” is important – for safety, if nothing else – this n-word can really bring us down… As Jeff puts it: “Eight times as many noes as yeses. Eight times the force holding you down, compared to the force lifting you up. Eight times the gravity against your desire to soar.”

Today, I share with you the primo ninja parenting tactic of them all… Make no sound like yes! Here’s how:

1) Actually say yes. When they ask “Mom, can I have an ice cream?” you respond “sure! Right after dinner.” If it’s “can we play play dough?” and if there isn’t time at the moment, you respond “absolutely – as soon as we get home from the doctor.” This works in so many situations, and have the added bonus of making us parents feel somehow lighter and happier… because no sucks and yes is nice.

2) Keep your cautions to yourself. If your mouth says “yes” but your body language, facial expression, and tone communicate fear and worry, your child won’t hear the yes. Worse, if you say yes and then come up with 10 reasons why your child shouldn’t climb that tree, or go barefoot, or eat the Halloween candy you just told him he could eat, are you really saying yes? Not really… This is where we need to be angels, not balloon poppers.

3) Use “yes, and…” A great turn-no-into-yes tactic for transitional times, try this one when your child wants to do one thing and you know that you need to do another… “Mom, can we play play dough?” “Yes, we can play now for a bit and will keep going with it when we get back from the doctor.”

If you take just one thing from this episode, I hope it is this: our words matter. The more yeses we can squeeze into a child’s day – more noes we can eliminate – the lighter and happier we will all be.

How are you changing “no” to “yes”? Please share! Either go to weturnedoutokay.com/contact or leave a comment right at the bottom of this post. I can’t wait to hear your innovations!